The first day of the holiday weekend, and the second day of Arlington’s racing week, is upon us.
Over at ShapperDaCapper, I previewed the late Pick 4. The second half of the card is the better betting portion of the card, with some bigger fields near the end of the day. However, the first half of the card contains some enjoyable races (particularly for an extended sprint lover like me), and I preview those here.
Race 1: $5,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, non-winners of two races in 2016 OR N4L, races where entered for $4,000 or less not considered in eligibility, one mile on the polytrack, post time 1:15pm CDT
Selections: Costly King (2), Azeg (6), Exactness (4)
Costly King was a clear standout no matter what, though he will be less of a price with stablemate Disorderly Conduct scratched. He still gets a pace target with both Rambling Richie and Azeg in the field, and he is a true seven-furlong polytrack horse. With the scratch, Azeg is the best of the speed horses. Though Rambling Richie is the speed of the speed, Azeg should be able to bother him just enough that he won’t be able to stay the seven furlongs, and Azeg can handle a stalking trip. Exactness will probably not win this race, but he frequently invades the undersides and has solid form at seven panels. He should rally late. Use him in exactas and trifectas.
Race 2: $7,500 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N2L, one and one sixteenth miles on the polytrack, post time 1:47pm CDT
Selections: Briar Hill Baron (1), Paddyryan (2), Moonshiner (7)
With no other speed in this race, expect Briar Hill Baron to send from the rail and take this field gate to wire. He just missed last out at this level, and should be sharper second off the lay. Paddyryan got his diploma last out at this distance over polytrack, and finished a good second at a flat mile over the surface two back. It suffices to say he likes Arlington, and though his off-pace style is a liability, he could just be the fastest one here. Moonshiner faces his easiest company ever, and can settle relatively close to the pace. He does have a two-turn win, though polytrack is a question.
Race 3: $5,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, non-winners of a race in 2016 OR N4L, races where entered for $4,000 or less not considered in eligibility, one mile on the polytrack, post time 2:19pm CDT
Selections: Andnowigottababy (1), Vision of Liz (5), Ally’s Dream (3)
In this race, you basically either single Andnowigottababy or hit the ALL button. Andnowigottababy stands to be chalk, but deservingly so — her recent form is excellent, she has won her only start over polytrack, and that victory came at a one-turn mile. That was last out, and second-place T C B Kiwi’s came back to win her next start. Beyond her, the gradations are tiny. Vision of Liz has solid polytrack and mile form, and should get some pace to chase. Ally’s Dream is hit or miss on the poly, but does have a win over the surface, as well as some decent recent form.
Race 4: $7,500 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N3L, races where entered for $5,000 or less not considered in eligibility, seven furlongs on the polytrack, post time 2:51pm CDT
Selections: Red Redemption (1), W W Orient (3), The Pegasus Book (6)
Red Redemption won last out over the polytrack. Though it will be his first try going seven furlongs, that last-out victory came at six and a half, suggesting some extended sprint aptitude. Though that was a wire job, he also has a stalk-and-pounce gear. Still, Red Redemption looks the speed of the speed. W W Orient is the other serious contender. Though he wired last out, he can also come from off the pace, helpful with Red Redemption in the field. He is the condition book horse here: five wins lifetime, three wins this year, but enough below the claiming threshold to still qualify. The Pegasus Book is intriguing with blinkers on, given that Scott Becker wins 35% of the time with blinkers on. He was a non-threatening fifth last out over the same surface and distance, but with improvement likely with blinkers, he could be the price to appeal to longshot players, particularly with no one else really inspiring in the field.
For my thoughts on the second half of the card, continue on over to Chicago Railbird!